Investigation of damage mechanisms in CNT nanocomposites using multiscale analysis

Ashwin Rai, Nithya Subramanian, Aditi Chattopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This paper examines microscale and sub-microscale damage mechanisms in carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforced nanocomposites. A multiscale modeling framework with a damage model developed from molecular dynamics simulation, is employed to study the physical mechanisms of damage initiation and propagation in CNT nanocomposites at the sub-microscale. Two CNT arrangements, randomly dispersed and entangled agglomerates, are examined. This investigation offers insights into damage properties of particular configurations of CNTs in a polymer matrix, in addition to specific understanding related to damage concentration effects around the filler material at the sub-microscale. High spatial CNT concentration differential is observed to affect damage initiation and rate of damage. It is further shown to result in sub-microscale crack initiation at low global strains, a phenomenon that is also observed at agglomeration boundaries, which results in CNT agglomerations to behave as crack initiation sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Solids and Structures
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanomechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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